psternak
1 Copper

dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

I've used dell optiplex computers for years to run openbsd. When usb 3.0 support was added to the 7010 3010 and 3020 lines and the xhci driver was added to openbsd, the systems would no longer boot. They hang after loading the driver  if anything is plugged into the usb bus. If nothing is plugged in, the machine will boot but the bus is dead. These systems use the Intel 7 or 8 chipset set for managing the usb bus. The only way to use openbsd on Dell systems now is to disable the xhci driver and let it by default load the ehci driver.

I have tried disabling usb 3 support and using legacy support in the bios but that doesn't fix the problem.

I have been in touch with the openbsd developer responsible for the xhci driver and he believes the problem is in the Dell bios. 

To test this theory, I booted openbsd on an HP compaq Deskpro 6300 which uses the intel 7 usb chip set and an HP Compaq Desktop 600 which uses the Intel 8 usb chip set. Both these computers handled openbsd xhci without a problem. The problem doesn't appear to be with the Intel chipset.

It would seem the developer is correct, there is something going on in the Dell bios that is fouling things up. I have ensured all the Dell test machines have the latest available Bios in them.

Can anyone at Dell involved in bios support please run a test of openbsd 5.9 and see if they can figure out where the problem lies. Sure would be nice if the bios could be fixed.

Thank you

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7 Replies
speedstep
6 Thallium

RE: dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

Dell doesn't support every distribution under the sun.   They support UBUNTU and Redhat. So unless the "problem" can be clarified to exactly what is wrong there wont be a bios fix or any other support.

http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/catalog/component/pci/8086:8c31/

 

http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/hardware/201308-14158/

 

 http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/hardware/201308-14158/components/

 

Open BSD Developers have "issues" with XHCI

http://www.openbsd.org/want.html

 The driver did not exist until 5.6 and 5.9 is the current version of Open BSD.  There is no such thing as one size fits all all versions.

In short OPEN BSD is not supported here.

Specific devices and equipment needed by our developers

  • Machines with non-working xhci(4) "Intel 7 Series xHCI" and "Intel 8 Series xHCI" USB3 controllers (e.g. Dell Optiplex 3020 or 7010) are needed in Aachen, Germany. The xhci driver was written by Martin Pieucho Contact
     mpi  AT openbsd.org.


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psternak2
1 Copper

RE: dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

I don't expect dell to write drivers for other open source opening systems. In the past dell's hardware and bios were pretty open source friendly in my experience.

When the xhci driver tries to load with a device plugged into the usb bus, the boot process stops when the xhci driver tries to load. When nothing is plugged into the usb bus, the boot will complete but the usb ports won't recognize devices plugged into it. Same issue with both the Intel 7 and 8 chip sets.

The only way around this is to disable the xhci drivers in the kernel and to force the boot process to load the older ehci driver which only supports usb 2.0.

As I said with HP Deskpro machines using the same Intel ver 7 or 8 usb chipset sets, the xhci driver loads without a problem.

If Dell doesn't want to spent time on debugging the problem, perhaps Dell Germany would be willing to loan martin an Optiplex 7010 since the problem seems to have started with the bios in that model hardware.

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nix.bofh
1 Nickel

RE: dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

Hello,

we are trying to install openbsd on a R230 and we have the same issues.

what do you mean with "force the boot process to load the older ehci driver"? The ehci driver is enabled by default, anyway we also tried to disable ehci and ohci (using uhci) but the keyboard stop working immediately after boot.

The trick works with a 5.5 disabling also acpi, but not with 5.9. Moreover it not works on all server, but they are identical (bios version and so on). . What workaround did you use exactly?

TIA

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psternak2
1 Copper

RE: dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

If you know how to use UKC to disable drivers during boot -c just

disable xhci

The system will then load ehci drivers which work fine for me.

You can then use the config command to create a modified kernel that skips the xhci driver.

ps

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nix.bofh
1 Nickel

RE: dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

Hello, yes we did the same but the keyboard stop working after kernel boot. We solved installing openbsd 5.9 via serial console and then disabling xhci in kernel but there is no way to use the keyboard or idrac virtual console, we can manage the server only via ssh or RS232.

I wonder if Dell could donate a piece of hardware to the OpenBSD team... 😉

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nix.bofh
1 Nickel

RE: dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

With OpenBSD 6.0 (snapshot) the installation works fine, there are no issues with XHCI.

There are still issues with the iDRAC (once the machine has booted, is impossible to write inside the console).

PowerEdge R230, iDRAC Virtual Console 5.04.04

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psternak2
1 Copper

RE: dell bios and usb 3.0 problem Openbsd

OpenBSD 6.0 stable now boots properly with the Dell bios, loading the xhci driver. Keyboard and mouse work normally. The errata for 6.0 says work was done on the xhci hand off to the Dell bios.

Nice!

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